It seems that no matter how many band-aids (notably ones covered in pictures of Scooby Doo and/or Hello Kitty) came in handy during our rambunctious youths, we are never prepared for the day when a boo-boo might befall us at the ripe old age of 25. You cut yourself in your kitchen and you just kind of look at it like, “Well, fuck. I guess I’m just gonna bleed out now for a little while” and/or wrap it with a little paper towel and some scotch tape like a peasant. But if we had the foresight to purchase a little thing of bandages to keep handy for when these things do happen, we’d never have to walk around with a hand looking like a last-minute mummy costume again.
I think we have just kind of decided that things don’t need batteries anymore. Like, we live in a world where everything is rechargeable and/or runs off the power of our own sense of self-satisfaction. But sometimes things do need batteries, and you suddenly find yourself without them. You have a flashlight, or a remote control, or a vibrating dildo — I don’t know your life — that stops working just when you need it and, unless you have a cool set of spare AAs waiting in your cupboard, are totally out of luck.
3. A scented candle.
Before the cries of “gayyyyy” well up from all of the bros that are undoubtedly reading this, let me clarify: I don’t think that our houses all need to be smelling like some terrible melange of 40 different Yankee Candle Company abominations at all times. I only feel that it is the kind thing to do, if you have some people over, to light a nice little odor-absorbing vanilla whatever and let it chill in the bathroom. You know what? Sometimes people have to poop. And it’s smelly and embarrassing, all the more so when you’re in close proximity at someone else’s house and everyone will know it was you. Do the right thing and leave a candle in there to take care of at least some of the odor problem.
4. A needle and thread.
Also, learn how to sew a button or something. I was once at a friend’s house and, as we were walking out the door, a button popped off his blazer and just kind of fell unceremoniously onto his floor. He stared at it for a while, like a child whose birthday cake had just been dropped in the pool, and we all began to understand that this meant his blazer was forever ruined unless he mustered up the courage to take it to a dry cleaner or something on one of his days off. He had neither a spare needle and thread, nor the (highly remedial) knowledge of how to put it back on. Honestly, if you’re not willing to be prepared, you deserve to get caught in this problem.
5. Tea, even if you don’t drink it.
I used to be a coffee person. (Now I can take either, but am leaning towards tea. This is also referred to in some circles as getting old.) And during my coffee heyday, the only thing I felt an apartment needed to be complete for any overnight, dinner, or mid-afternoon guests was my little coffee maker and some cream and sugar. But then I realized that tea people are essentially vampires, and cease to function mid-day if they are not constantly sucking some Earl Grey out of their host’s open veins. If you don’t have at least a teabag or two to choose from, their day will be ruined. And if you offer them coffee instead over breakfast, they’ll look at you like you just punched their newborn in the stomach.
There are only so many bowls covered with flimsy plastic wrap you can fill your refrigerator with before you start to look like a meth head. Get yourself together and invest in at least a few of these babies to store your leftovers and/or bring lunch places. (Don’t start using them for storage everywhere, though, as that is tacky as hell. IKEA sells little plastic drawers at a similar price point for all your toiletry-storage needs, if you are so inclined.)
7. Basic medication.
If you don’t have the basic things to address the common cold, a fever, a headache, a stomachache, nausea, etc — you are going to regret it. You don’t know when it’s going to be exactly, but at some point, you are going to be in desperate need of something and realize all too late that the only thing in your medicine cabinet is a couple of tampons and a condom.
8. Spare lightbulbs.
No one ever buys lightbulbs ahead of time. As far as I know, it is as innate in human nature to suckle at birth as it is to wait until a light randomly goes out in your house, mutter “fuck,” and then try to figure out which kind it takes down at the corner in your sweatpants and flip flops. There is just no “planning ahead” when it comes to lights. But imagine how much better our lives would all be if we just had a modest supply of the various bulbs our lights require in a drawer somewhere, waiting for the (constantly inconvenient) moment when one of them decides to burn out. It doesn’t matter what time of day it happens, because you’re prepared!
9. Hand towels.
If you don’t put one of these out, the cretins that come over to your house will do one of two things: 1. Dry their hands all over your bath towel which will then be unpleasantly moist when you go to dry yourself off with, or 2. Not wash their hands at all post-evacuation because they’re like “Welp, can’t dry these bad boys anyway, I guess they don’t want me to be sanitary.” Do want those prospects hanging over your head? Of course you don’t. Get a hand towel. (A monogrammed one, if you’re an insane WASP.)
10. Frozen vegetables.
There’s only way to ensure you’re going to eat vegetables frequently, and that’s by keeping those things in your house. And we all know that many a fresh fruit and veg is doomed by being purchased and then not consumed within a reasonable amount of time, and that many canned vegetables are super gross, so this looks like the best option. Also if you get a boo-boo you can hold the bag of peas to it to make it feel better. (But this is by no means a replacement for band-aids, you need those, too.)